Posted at 6:14 PM on March 7, 2013
by Paul Huttner
Weekend Slop Fest
And the weather hits just keep on comin'
All systems are "go" for yet another wet, sloppy and potentially icy & snowy weather system for Minnesota this weekend.
Friday still looks blissfully quiet with a full blown thaw...with temps in the upper 30s to near 40F in southern Minnesota and maybe the metro.
The next in our series of late season wintery storms arrives Friday night.
Most of the guidance on the wet weekend weather system still leans toward a potential period of freezing rain in the wee hours of Saturday morning...then mostly warm enough for all rain later Saturday, in the metro...but it's going to be a close call.
This system has the potential for some heavy wet snow north & west of the metro, and to be a headache for forecasters if the track or temperature profile changes even slightly.
How do you like your precip? Ice? Rain? Snow?
Our latest March "Tournament Storm" will bring a little bit of everything to keep people "happy" this weekend.
"Make no big decisions in March in Minnesota." - Dave Moore legendary WCCO-TV anchor
Next system on the way:
The next weather system is on the way for Minnesota.
This one has all the making of a classic March "Slop Storm."
Here's a nice breakdown of the inbound system from the Twin Cities NWS.
A Winter Storm Watch is posted, and snuggle right up to the western Twin Cities metro starting Friday night for a mixture of ice and snow.
324 PM CST THU MAR 7 2013
...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY EVENING THROUGH
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED
A WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY EVENING
THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING.
* TIMING: FREEZING RAIN AND LIGHT SNOW TO DEVELOP LATE FRIDAY
EVENING...CONTINUING THROUGH MOST OF THE DAY ON SATURDAY.
PRECIPITATION WILL MIX WITH AND CHANGE OVER TO RAIN DURING THE
DAY ON SATURDAY. PRECIPITATION WILL THEN MIX WITH AND CHANGE
OVER TO LIGHT SNOW SATURDAY EVENING AND CONTINUE AS LIGHT SNOW
THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING.
* MAIN IMPACT: POTENTIAL ICE ACCUMULATION OF ONE TENTH TO ONE
QUARTER INCH OF ICE ALONG WITH SNOW ACCUMULATION OF BETWEEN 3
AND 6 INCHES THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THIS EVENT. TRAVEL WILL
BECOME HAZARDOUS STARTING FRIDAY NIGHT.
This weekend's weather system will ride the freezing line in Minnesota. As the system moves in temps aloft will be warm enough for rain, but at ground level temps will be hovering near freezing on the front and back end of this system.
The result will be a chance for glaze ice late Friday night, mostly rain Saturday and the a transition to some wet slushy snow on the back end Saturday night & Sunday.
Water in the streets?
The combination of icing Friday night followed by rainfall and melting snow will mean water in the streets in the Twin Cities this weekend. Look for thousands of super-sized puddles capable of delivering a free car wash this weekend, as we see the potential for some localized street flooding.
This is a wet system, and may deliver .50" to 1" of liquid...most of it as rainfall this weekend from the metro south.
Snow & ice clogged drains just can't handle that amount of liquid in March.
On the edge of heavier snow:
The models seem consistent on keeping the metro in an ice-rain-slushy snow scenario this weekend, but it's close enough to freezing that the system will have to be watched for a potential increase in snowfall totals.
Take a look at the increase in snowfall as you move northwest with this system.
The Twin Cities is on the edge of the 3" zone according to the latest NAM runs...with 6"+ likely along a Redwood Falls-Willmar-St. Cloud-near Duluth & Iron Range line.
Most likely scenario? Mostly rain for the metro Saturday with 1" to 2" of slushy snow on the backside for the metro by Sunday AM.
But...a jog southeast of even 50 miles with this system could bring heavy wet snow accumulations to the Twin Cities.
Stay tuned as we tweak forecasts through Friday PM before the storm arrives.
St. Patty's Day warmth?
The upper air pattern still looks quite favorable for much milder air in the 7-14 day time frame.
Both the GFS and Euro have cranked out 50s by next weekend, and now the GFS is going hog wild with a 61F high on St. Patty's Day.
That number is probably a stretch, but it continues to support the notion of much milder air...at least 50s by next weekend.
Even NOAA's CPC has come around to changing the 8-14 days outlook from cold to hinting at warmer than average temps.
Hang in there!
Good luck forecasting this weekends storm, with the temps hovering right around 32 degrees and a winter storm watch approaching the cities from the northwest, I would say all the ingredients are present for the weathermen to go crazy.
I believe this is the best weather page in the twin cities and it isn't even close. Great work, Paul, and thanks.
Do you know what time the sleet/rain might reach the twin cities tonight (Friday)??